A process borrowed from winemaking that is similar to anaerobic fermentation. The major difference between the two is that carbonic maceration uses whole, intact cherries in a ferment that breaks down the cell walls of the mucilage from inside out.
The idea is to break down the inside layers of the fruit and soak all of the juice into the seeds in a controlled fermentation without yeast. Carbonic maceration can bring out some incredibly unusual flavours and aromas – like red wine and whisky – although bubblegum and banana flavours are the most obvious hallmarks for this process.
Stainless fermentation containers used in Clonakilla Winery
Image: Saša Šestić